About Author

Cecelia Hopkins-Drewer

Cecelia Hopkins-Drewer

Cecelia Hopkins-Drewer is the pen name used by Australian poet, author and researcher, Cecelia Hopkins. Cecelia was born in 1967 in Adelaide, South Australia. She grew up in the Barossa Valley, an area of South Australia predominantly settled by German immigrants. Even before she went to school, she remembers scribbling for hours on a piece of paper in imitation of her mother’s messy cursive. Early stories were about a magic car that could fly and dive! Cecelia also loved poetry and pumped out many juvenile ditties.
Cecelia moved to NSW to study, completing a Bachelor of Education, Diploma of Information Management and Master of Arts. Cecelia’s thesis entitled: THE LITERARY MANIFESTO OF H.P. LOVECRAFT: A WRITER IN SEARCH OF A THEORY (1993-1994) was completed as a research project which replaced several subjects in her Master of Arts through the University of New South Wales.

Cecelia Hopkins-Drewer Books

Scary Snippets: A Halloween Microfiction Anthology
(1) $3.99kindle Free with KUeBook,
Scary Snippets: A Halloween Microfiction Anthologyby Kyle HarrisonPublish: Oct 25, 2019Series: Scary SnippetsThrillers Fantasy Horror
Silver Springtime (The Silver Springs Christian University Series Book 1)
(2) $2.99kindleeBook,
Silver Springtime (The Silver Springs Christian University Series Book 1)by Cecelia Hopkins-DrewerPublish: Jul 28, 2017Series: The Silver Springs Christian University SeriesHistorical Romance Christian Fiction
Scary Snippets: Christmas Edition
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Scary Snippets: Christmas Editionby Suicide House PublishingPublish: Dec 12, 2019Thrillers Supernatural Suspense Horror
(1) $1.05kindleeBook,
Love Always Hopes (The Silver Springs Christian University Series Book 3)by Cecelia Hopkins-DrewerPublish: Jul 30, 2019Series: The Silver Springs Christian University SeriesRomance Christian Fiction
Faith and Love (The Silver Springs Christian University Series Book 2)
(1) $2.99kindle Free with KUeBook,
Faith and Love (The Silver Springs Christian University Series Book 2)by Cecelia Hopkins-DrewerPublish: Jul 29, 2018Series: The Silver Springs Christian University SeriesHistorical Romance Christian Fiction
Mystic Evermore (The Nevermore Parables Book 1)
(1) $1.99kindle Free with KUeBook,
Mystic Evermore (The Nevermore Parables Book 1)by Cecelia Hopkins-DrewerPublish: Apr 07, 2018Series: The Nevermore Parables SeriesFantasy Teen & Young Adult
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Saints and Sinners (The Nevermore Parables Book 2)by Cecelia Hopkins-DrewerPublish: May 11, 2018Series: The Nevermore Parables SeriesAction & Adventure Fantasy Horror Teen & Young Adult
Autumn Secrets (The Nevermore Parables Book 3)
(2) $2.99kindle Free with KUeBook,
Autumn Secrets (The Nevermore Parables Book 3)by Cecelia Hopkins-DrewerPublish: Sep 21, 2018Series: The Nevermore Parables SeriesSupernatural Suspense Fantasy Horror Teen & Young Adult
All For Love: on the charity dating show
(2) $2.99kindleeBook,
All For Love: on the charity dating showby Cecelia HopkinsPublish: Jan 25, 2018Contemporary Romance Literary Fiction

Cecelia Hopkins-Drewer interview On 28, Feb 2019

"Cecelia Hopkins-Drewer absolutely loved performing in school concerts. She has published poems and articles as both ‘Hopkins’ and ‘Drewer’. She has designed her own book covers. She writes most mornings. When she is stuck in rut, she goes out. Sometimes she reads other’s books, watches TV or a movie. She uses Beta readers and she studies the market and sees what is popular. The next book in The Silver Springs University Series is in the editing phase. It is called ‘Love Always Hopes.'"
Which is your favorite memory while growing up in the Barossa Valley? What were the struggles in the process of learning to read?

My favourite childhood memories are all jumbled together. I absolutely loved performing in school concerts. I had an almost perfect memory in those days and could memorise my lines at a reading. Then I ‘became’ the character. This meant I always received a lead role. I absolutely adored drama.

Struggles learning to read included the letters not gluing themselves together into words, and the words not joining together to form sentences. Years later, I became a keen reader, but I can still remember the pain of learning. Enough to commit me to helping students who have difficulties.

What was the mystery story about that you received as a gift and finished in one session? How did it inspire you to write your own stories?

I believe the book was book three of the Famous Five series: ‘Five Run Away Together’. (I was given the books out of order.) The book inspired me to read, and the love of reading made me want to be an author. When I was a child, this was the answer I gave to the question: “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Till I realized that authorship was difficult, and then I amended my answer to “a nurse”.

Why did you choose to write under the pen name, Cecelia Hopkins-Drewer?

I was born Cecelia Hopkins. I was married, Cecelia Drewer. I have published poems and articles as both. I wanted people to know that both of me were one person, so I hyphenated.

How much and from where do you research for your books? How do you think your experience as a researcher has helped you shape into a writer?

I’m an ‘inspiration’ author rather than a researcher. Sure, I check facts as I write. Sometimes it is almost spooky. Inspiration told me to place something somewhere, and I Google to see whether that is realistic. Sometimes, the coincidence is remarkable. When I write about an era, I do check that the organisations, technology and places mentioned actually exist. Sometimes I travel to learn more about a place that I am writing about. I cannot afford world travel, but it helps to see different settings within Australia. This is practical research.

Why did you decide to set Faith and Love in 1980s? How do you usually decide the setting of your stories?

I set Faith and Love in the 1980s because it was the sequel to Silver Springtime. Silver Springtime was set during the period when I actually grew up. The 1980s are becoming trendy in film and television, with the big curled hair (as opposed to the long flowing hair of the seventies), clinched waists and rock and roll lifestyle.

What is "Bildungsroman" genre about? How did you get to know about this genre?

“Bildungsroman” is the genre of education and development. Classic examples include: James Joyce's 'A Portait of the Artist as a Young Man', Charles Dickens ‘David Copperfield’, Charlotte Bronte’s ‘Jayne Eyre’, and Henry Handel Richardson’s ‘The Getting of Wisdom’.

I see examples I do not agree with: ‘Gone with the Wind’ is NOT because it follows Scarlet too far into adult life – and does she ever get smart really? ‘To Kill a Mocking Bird’ is also NOT because of its narrow focus on the one court case.

‘Smallville’ on the other hand, might be because, despite all the sci-fi elements, it follows Clark Kent’s development from awkward alien child to morally confident superhero. The ‘Hunger Games’ series may also be, although I hope no youth really go through such a violent education process.

I learned about this genre during my university studies. The focus must be on maturation, spiritual and moral development. ‘Harry Potter’ and hundreds of stories have school settings, Hogwarts’ but the children mostly ‘get older’ throughout the adventures. If they faced their moral dilemmas, like really digesting the fact that Professor Snape is a good guy despite being ‘dark arts’ professor, and that students are not evil for simply being sorted into Slytherin, such a story might begin to qualify as a bildungsroman instead of an adventure.

How did you get started with The Silver Springs University Series? Writing can be an emotionally draining and stressful pursuit. Any tips for aspiring writers?

Well that is a difficult question. It almost seemed that having certain real world achievements, set me free to finish a book. Before that, I had lots of started manuscripts, and one almost completely written manuscript, with a few holes in it. I cannot extrapolate tips for aspiring writers from this. Just to keep trying until the time is right.

What was your thesis, "THE LITERARY MANIFESTO OF H.P. LOVECRAFT" about? What did it teach you?

My thesis ‘The Literary Manifesto of H.P. Lovecraft’ was about the literary theory behind the fiction of weird tale writer, Howard Phillips Lovecraft.

In addition to the tales, Lovecraft left a huge body of letters and some amateur journalism that scholars are still picking through. I was lucky to have support from Leigh Blackmore, who lent me a lot of resources, and Sunand Tryambak Joshi, who is most encouraging of young scholars in the field.

Lovecraft was highly eclectic. His ultimate focus was on the weird tale, but he read literature from the ancient Greek up to his own contemporary turn-of-the-Twentieth Century writers. He was mostly inclined to subscribe to the theories of the classicists, but produced a literature quite unrelated to theirs in style.

All the books in The Nevermore Parables have interesting book covers? Who designs your book covers?

I design my own book covers. I have asked artists for help, but they generally are too busy. So, in the case of the Nevermore Parables covers, I had to use my own concept sketches. I love the cover for ‘Mystic Evermore’.

I am not so sure about the cover for ‘Saints and Sinners’ as people see a heart and say ‘romance’. They don’t notice that it is a BROKEN heart. In ‘Saints and Sinners’ I create a vampire for the first time, as opposed to the vampires that pre-exist when the story commences. The heart seemed like a winner when I first implemented the design.

I also want to own the rights to my covers, and never have my covers duplicate with other writers. My friend Allan Schultz takes original photographs for my covers. We quest far and wide for the perfect photograph. ‘Autumn Secrets’ uses a combination of photographic background and hand-drawn silhouette superimposed above this.

The covers print very well. This is important. I still believe in paperbacks. I have inspected a lot of fantasy art, and the contrast is not good enough or printing. Maybe these images sell well as ebook covers, but they do not meet my criterion for quality. When I eventually become a household name, I want my cover to be something to be proud of as well as the book.

What inspired you to write "All For Love?" How did you come up with the idea for “The Charity Dating Show?"

I am reality television obsessed. Enough said.

How do you come up with character names? Among Nadine, Kendra, Vonda, Janny and Deborah, who do you relate to the most?

I need a lot of names. Especially amongst a cast of twenty plus. And that is only one book. Names cannot all begin with the same letter, so I need to spread them out. Names convey personalities to certain extent. I also work in kindergartens. I hear lot of names. Modern parents me them up. Jackson is now commonly spelt Jaxon!

“Relate to the most?” I cannot give that away! Personality-wise I may be Vonda. Attitude and interest-wise, I might be more Janny. Deborah was created to be a bitch, but she absolutely rocks!

When can we expect the next book in The Silver Springs University Series? What are you currently working on?

The next book in The Silver Springs University Series is in the editing phase. It is called ‘Love Always Hopes’. It has a cover. I will probably order proof within a couple of months. Expect it out between July and September 2019. “Cara has ignored Dylan for two and a half years. Has she left it too late to gain his forgiveness? Love Always Hopes (The Silver Springs Christian University Series Book 3) - Coming in 2019”

What am I working on now? The final installment to the Silver Springs University Series: ‘A Prayer for Understanding’.

After that – no more realism. I am turning to hard-core Science Fiction.

When are you most inspired to write? What are some things you do to motivate yourself when you're stuck in a rut?

I write most mornings. When I am stuck in rut I go out. Sometimes I read other’s books. Sometimes I watch TV or a movie.

How do you maintain that equilibrium between writing what you want and what your readers want?

I use Beta readers and I study the market and see what is popular. However, different readers want different things. My Christian readers will never want what my Sydney Horror Association friends like. I am stuck in conflicting worlds.

When were you first introduced to AllAuthor and how? What were your expectations coming in and did the website manage to meet them?

I am not sure when I found Allauthor. I think someone mentioned ‘cover wars’ on bulletin board and a Google search showed several sites that hosted cover competitions. My expectations include a free profile and book listing. I won’t pay or anything that does not contain a permanent element. Once I see other things I do like, such as the ability to feature books, I consider paying something. The graphics you send are cute, but it is the success of the twitter promotions I am most curious about.

Ask Cecelia Hopkins-Drewer a question

      • Cecelia Hopkins-Drewer Cecelia Hopkins-Drewer 7 months ago
      • Release your work to an audience sooner! I am cautious and I waited to put my manuscripts into ebook form until ebook was established and reliable. This meant I missed the "boom" that launched some careers. I did not join Watt Pad when it was all the rage and even my sister-in-law was on there, now it seems quite slow in there. The same with a few other sites and opportunities. I wait too long. Writing needs an audience, and f some are critical - that is just the way of things.
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      • Cecelia Hopkins-Drewer Cecelia Hopkins-Drewer 7 months ago
      • I accept that writing can employ a variety of styles - from traditional poetry or narrative to modern and experimental, stream of consciousness and free verse. However, I believe that good writing needs to contain a few essential elements.

        1) Narrative clarity - a story-line that is gripping and compelling. A writer can choose to leave the writer confused - but too much of this and the reader will simply put the book down.
        2) Cohesion - some main thread or metaphor needs to keep the story together. No matter how experimental the ordering of elements.
        3) Gripping plot - a story has to be about something. Even if it is merely musings it needs to have a point.
        4) Emotion - I like stories where the writer is not afraid to explore the character's feelings. In poetry some say "passion" is essential (and they mean intensity not erotic).
        5) SHOW NOT TELL - writers should avoid editorialising and necessary commentary. this stuff might seem important in the first draft, but it ought to be cut out in the editing process to favour a clean read.
        * If they choose a style which internalises and displays the character's thoughts, a writer ought to ask themselves which are necessary to display and which are over-indulgence.
        * I avoid choosing third person omnipotent as my point of view. This is where the author jumps into multiple character's heads and explains what each is thinking. It is a valid POV and can work for large epics, but I would treat with caution.
        * Be realistic. If the story is being told by ONE character, you can only describe things they see, hear or are told about. So how will they see the climactic point? How will they gather all the clues?
        * Dramatic irony is created when the author is planning to reveal things at the climactic point and drops the clues into the text, but the character does not attach any significance to them.
        6) Quality Composition - I attempt to use good grammar and correct my spelling. At some points, poor grammar and incorrect spelling is actually more appropriate for certain character's speech, but this should be made clear by the quote marks. Ah yes - I prefer speech tags. I know modern Young Adult texts tend to drop them, but after a few paragraphs, one has to scratch their heads and go back and physically 'count' to see who is speaking.
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      • Cecelia Hopkins-Drewer Cecelia Hopkins-Drewer 7 months ago
      • 1. Narrative clarity - a variety of styles and even experimental writing are okay, but the reader must be drawn to read the story.
        2. Cohesion - something must keep the story together even if the order is experimental.
        3. Riveting plot - a story must be about something and preferably contain some surprises.
        4. SHOW NOT TELL - a writer should avoid 'editorialising', trim unnecessary commentary & character meanderings, stick to a point of view, create a setting and employ dramatic irony when appropriate.
        5. Characterisation & emotion - the most compelling books explore the character's feelings, reveal areas of self-delusion and promote character growth.
        6. Quality composition - check spelling & grammar, indicate speech appropriately.
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      • Cecelia Hopkins-Drewer Cecelia Hopkins-Drewer 11 months ago
      • Oh a difficult question, and something different! (I don't believe that readers want to read the same answers to the same questions on every site.)
        1) MOSES - because he lived in ancient Egypt. So he can fill me in on some fascinating history. He also married the daughter of a priest and we hear nothing more about the special order from which this priest hails. I presume Moses would bring his wife and we might get some answers. He faced down Pharoah's priests in a magical duel. Most Christians want to close their ears to this - but I want to know - what physics or power lay behind the miracles performed by both sides? He also wrote the section of the Bible referred to as the Torah so he counts as a writer.
        2) C.S. LEWIS - because he wrote such great fantasy readable by children and adults alike. He also performed research on the Petrarchan tradition of courtly love and wrote some interesting Christian philosophy. He shouldn't be too incompatible with Moses, but their meeting might highlight the ways tradition has changed the beliefs and messages down through the years. He was also a contemporary od Tolkien so I would get a bit of the best of both worlds here.
        3) BARBARA CARTLAND - because she wrote so many stories, and they marketed so well. I also love a historical romance and none of her later heroine's would hurt a fly. Prominent social figure and step-grandmother to Princess Diana, what else could you want? Besides, then I would not be alone with the two crusty old gentlemen I have selected as picks one and two!
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      • Cecelia Hopkins-Drewer Cecelia Hopkins-Drewer 11 months ago
      • I write in a number of genre already:

        1) Christian Fiction chose me, because it reflects my upbringing - for better or worse.
        2) Vampire Fiction slotted right in with my reading and viewing interests.
        3) I have always written poetry, starting with childish ditties.
        4) I write non-fiction Literary Criticism because I have been to university.

        So what would be new for me?

        5) I am developing my vision as a Science Fiction writer at this very moment.
        6) My D&D style Fantasy novel remains unedited - I will polish and publish that one day. That will perhaps represent a new genre and one very close to my heart.
        7) I have a few Children's stories under development. Despite what you might think, this is a difficult genre.

        What would be very different?

        8) My dream has always been to write a who-dun-it Detective Story. I never manage to pen one --- I'm just not nasty enough --- I always end up with 'who-do-they-date' not who-dun-it! Maybe one day...
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      • Cecelia Hopkins-Drewer Cecelia Hopkins-Drewer 11 months ago
      • Well, I am going to give a progression of answers to this question.

        1) Originally the problem was seeing a manuscript through to completion. It is no good having great 100 word intros to novels and no novel body! This remained my challenge until about the year 2000, which was a significant year in my writing.

        2) Now that I can finish a whole book quite promptly, generating the initial idea remains the challenge. There are many ideas in the world, most of them have already been used. Some are great to read from other authors - but wouldn't give me the material I require to live my way through a full story with the characters.

        3) Finally, after it is all written - promoting the story and getting it out there to readers remains a challenge. I expect it will remain a challenge for some time. I am combating this different ways. Advertising, group membership, contributing to websites, serials and anthologies.
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      • Cecelia Hopkins-Drewer Cecelia Hopkins-Drewer 11 months ago
      • I hope that I never find out the answer to this question! Plagiarism is of course WRONG and POINTLESS, because academic standing is enhanced by correct use of citations, indicating research.

        However, I think the greatest abuse is CHARGING AUTHORS MONEY to submit to publications or enter competitions. A writers' time, effort and skills are worth money. They should be paid for their submissions, if not in cash at least in kind, such as contributor copies. Some competitions try to justify this as 'administration costs' or 'reader's fees'. They should get a sponsor! There is plenty of industry out there, willing to support the Arts.

        Fleecing authors because they have hopes and dreams is just NOT ACCEPTABLE. Also, I am more qualified than most out there to be paid to read (I have two Master's Degrees and several graduate certificates) and yet I have to purchase copies of books/films I enjoy!

        I could go on at length about this subject. Competitions are also elitist and subject to the trends of the moment (or the previous era, which is even worse). I almost stopped writing poetry because of competitions. However, luckily, I am irrepressible. I also had a mentor or two along the way that saved my spirit!
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